One Independent woman candidate with palpable backing of Bharatiya Janata Party on the last day of the nomination for Rajya Sabha’s 11 seats from Uttar Pradesh has upset equations of nominees hoping to sail through with others’ supports.
Congress Kapil Sibal and Samajwadi Party nominees like Amar Singh or Beni Prasad Verma, would be worried lot. No wonder, Congress RS member Pramod Tiwari was quick to react on Mahapatra’s nomination filing as BJP’s bid to bring horse trading into play. Mahapatra being the 12th candidate, election for Rajya Sabha seems certain if no nominee withdraws or his candidature is not rejected.
With BJP covertly backing Mahapatra’s candidature as 16 of its MLAs including Leader of the BJP in the House Suresh Khanna, party’s chief whip Dr Radha Mohan Das Agrawal and former BJP chief Laxmikant Bajpai readily and happily becoming her candidature’s proposer.
Officially, BJP MLAs claimed that her candidature had nothing to do with party and becoming proposer was their choice in “individual capacity.” An unlike scenario in a party like BJP which could have recommended cancellation of House membership of the MLAs who would have jumped party line, had Mahapatra didn’t have party’s backing.
Interestingly, leaders like Sibal were heavily relying on support from MLAs of other parties. With 29 MLAs of the party in the House, Sibal is short of 5 MLAs, for which he is dependent on support from any either 12 additional BSP MLAs, RLD’s Ajit Singh or even Mulayam’s Samajwadi Party,